Be forewarned, this is going to be a picture-heavy post. Hopefully that's a good thing, because phew! I am exhausted.
It has been a very full, blessed couple of days!
So, as the title of this post implicates, I did, in fact, turn 30 this week. On Thursday to be exact.
On Wednesday, my awesome mom and amazing stepdad (the photo above is not staged, I promise, and is a fairly accurate depiction of how much fun these two are) flew in from New York to celebrate with us. Since I'm still only 3 weeks postpartum, celebrating consisted of hanging around the house, sharing laughs and catching up and thoroughly enjoying good food and even better company.
The delicious dinner included some of my favorite recipes: Baked Pesto Chicken and Potatoes, sliced tomatoes drizzled with balsamic, and to finish: a selection of macaroons from one of our favorite local bakeries and a scrumptious Hummingbird Cake. Incidentally, this last item does not contain hummingbirds. My stepdad was curious.
But he ate three slices. So, I think it all turned out okay.
And yes, I baked it myself. There were many offers of help, but it's a birthday tradition. Baking is my favorite form of therapy. I can't think of anything more relaxing than slathering a thick layer of cream cheese icing on a perfect layer of moist, homemade, pineapple-studded cake. Mmm...
Of course, no family celebration is complete without a little zany humor. Ours came in the form of a spunky gust of wind that resulted in our patio umbrella breaking free of it's concrete stand and landing on our roof.
My husband, my hero.
And, of course, no perfect day can be complete without a great story. Thanks, Grammie, for snuggling up to tell it.
But wait, the fun isn't done yet!
Friday was James' 5th baptismal anniversary. We celebrate each of our children's baptisms with a special ceremony each year. We light their baptismal candle, watching their eyes light up in the glow of the flame, and then we lead them through a liturgy where we renew their baptismal promises. This was the first year James has been old enough to make these professions himself. A very special milestone indeed.
Much of Friday was also spent preparing for yet another celebration: Will's baptism!
Everyone was very excited...
...except Will, of course.
In his defense, he had no idea how very exciting this day was going to be!
I always look forward to my children's baptismal days with the same awestruck anticipation I await their births. After all, baptism is a birth of sorts--a rebirth and a welcoming in the new life of faith. St. Therese of Lisieux (Abby's patron saint) used to count her birthdays from her baptismal day, rather than the date of her birth, because she said that the day she was baptized in Christ is the day she truly became herself.
I love that story, and I think it speak volumes of the beauty of this glorious sacrament.
Through the faith of parents and godparents, a child is welcomed into the family of faith. By the grace of God, our son becomes His adopted son. By the grace of the sacrament, our William will be sheltered his life in the shadow of his heavenly Father's wings.
Of course, baptism does not ensure salvation. But it is an open door. A first step. God's hand reaching out to our young son, invited by our humility and obedience, that He might confer His undeserved grace upon this child He has blessed us with.
Salvation is from above. Unmerited, and all the more glorious for that.
But how beautiful, how kind, how utterly compassionate is our God who grants to us the graces of this sacrament to aid Will in his journey--and to empower us, his parents, and his godparents as we guide him along the way.
Now that's a Catholic baptismal photo!
Truly, though, we are so blessed to have such a vibrant faith community. Our wise and loving priest, Will's wonderful godparents and their beautiful children, and so many incredible friends to strengthen us as parents and help us in passing our ancient but ever relevant faith on to our children.
And, of course, no sacrament is complete without a party!!
And MORE CAKE!!!
So, there you have it. The breakdown of my whirlwind weekend of blessing.
Next up, Abby's birthday...
....on Tuesday, with--wait for it....
..... MORE CAKE!!!